OTTAWA, ON — After missing the season opening Gold Final due to sickness, two-year-old trotter The Game Plan returned to Gold Series action at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Friday evening and logged the quickest of two $40,000 Gold Eliminations.

In rein to Jack Moiseyev, The Game Plan eased away from Post 6 as Dalglish took the field of six to a :29.3 opening quarter. Reigning Gold Final champion Good Sound Advice took control of the tempo heading to the 1:00.2 half, but Moiseyev already had The Game Plan rolling up the outside and the pair had a short nose in front by the 1:30 three-quarters.

Good Sound Advice fought hard around the final turn and had a neck in front as the colts turned for home, but The Game Plan had more left in the tank for the drive to the wire and sprinted home to a 1:59.2 win. Dalglish rolled out of the pocket to claim second-place honours, one length behind the winner, and fan favourite Heres The Magic also delivered a smart last quarter to snatch third away from Good Sound Advice, who settled for fourth in his second straight Gold Elimination.

Milton resident John Kopas conditions The Game Plan for his partners LLK Stable and Anthony Wagner of Mississauga and Gary Grieve of Union. The group purchased the Kadabra half-brother to $1.4 million winner Pure Ivory for a relatively modest $20,000 at last fall’s Canadian Open Yearling Sale, and have recouped their entire investment after just three starts.

Third in his elimination of the Gold Series season opener at Kawartha Downs on July 7, The Game Plan was sick for the July 14 Gold Final. In preparation for Friday’s return to the provincial circuit, Kopas started the gelding in an overnight at Mohawk Racetrack on July 28, and The Game Plan delivered a solid 1:59.1 victory. Adding on Friday night’s prize, the son of gritty former OSS competitor Image Control ($240,514) has earned $33,300.

Moiseyev, who piloted the gelding in all three of his early season qualifiers, will send The Game Plan after the lion’s share of $130,000 from Post 5 in next Friday’s Gold Final.

The first Gold Elimination proved to be a case of survival of the flattest, as only two colts toured the Rideau Carleton oval without error. Rolling up the outside, Cradabra inherited the lead at the three-quarters when pacesetter Majestic Image went off stride, and the colt trotted steadily on to the wire to score a five and one-quarter length victory in 2:01.3. Wonforallallforone also delivered a flawless mile to secure second-place honours.

Tucked in behind Majestic Image when that colt went off stride, Six Bax also skipped off gait, but was able to recover and trot home into third spot. Majestic Image was 10 more lengths back in fourth, with fan favourite Il Mago a distant fifth after a series of early miscues.

Scott Zeron piloted Cradabra to his first lifetime victory for trainer Bjorn Noren and owners Claire Chappell of New York, NY, Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA and Order By Stable of Boras, Sweden. A bargain basement $5,000 purchase out of last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Cradabra prepped for his Gold Series debut with a pair of winning qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack and a seventh in an overnight event at the Campbellville oval on July 28.

The son of Kadabra and Crabcake Hanover will be hampered by the outside Post 8 in his bid for a Gold Final title next Friday.

The top four finishers from each Gold Elimination, plus Il Mago, who was the fortunate fifth-place finisher, will return to Rideau Carleton Raceway next Friday, Aug. 12 to compete in the second Gold Final of their season. The complete line up for the $130,000 battle, which features six sons of Kadabra, is as follows:

$130,000 Gold Series Final — Friday, Aug. 12 at Rideau Carleton Raceway

Post 1 Il Mago

Post 2 Heres The Magic

Post 3 Dalglish

Post 4 Wonforallallforone

Post 5 The Game Plan

Post 6 Good Sound Advice

Post 7 Six Bax

Post 8 Cradabra

Post 9 Majestic Image

Also Eligible 1 Pokerface It

Also Eligible 2 Summer Indian

For complete results please go to: Rideau Carleton Raceway Results — Aug. 5, 2011